Last week, Eli Manning dismissed criticism of his receiving corps’ extravagant celebrity-filled night on a yacht with some witty quips. Well, after the Giants lost to the Packers in the NFL Playoffs on Sunday thanks in part to poor play from Odell Beckham Jr. and company, Manning was not in the mood for jokes.
According to the New York Post, the quarterback blamed Beckham for creating a controversy then failing to “back it up” on the field.
“You do things, you’ve got to back it up,” Manning said of the perception Beckham fought following that trip.
“Maybe (he) put too much pressure on himself,” the QB said of Beckham’s pressing in the season-ending defeat.
Manning’s response to the lessons that might be learned from the Miami clubbing and boating trip?
“You’ve got to learn that the perception of things makes it different,” Manning said. “You do things, you’ve got to back it up. And I don’t think it had an impact on the game. I thought we had a great week of practice. Guys were making plays and running around and intense and focused and everything (was) good. Unfortunately we just didn’t have it yesterday.”
In these quotes (and there are more in the Post’s article), Manning seems to vacillate between criticizing OBJ and defending him. Which makes sense, given that he’d probably like to send his top receiver a message without ruining their relationship.
Still, it’s still not really clear what Beckham has to “back up.” A week before the game, the receivers had some fun, in the way numerous 20-somethings—in and out of the NFL—do every weekend. They probably shouldn’t have posted about it on social media, but it’s hard to argue that some vague, intangible “distraction” cost the Giants a game they lost by 25 points.
Still, given all this fuss, it’s safe to bet next year OBJ will wait until after the playoffs to party with celebrities.